Unique: Breeze Airways Hiring Part-Time Flight Attendants

Filed Under: Other Airlines

Breeze Airways is now hiring part-time flight attendants, and this is arguably the least controversial hiring practice we’ve seen from the airline.

For those of you not familiar with Breeze, this US airline startup is expected to launch in the spring, and it’s founded by David Neeleman, the same guy who started JetBlue.

Breeze’s controversial hiring up until now

Breeze Airways’ hiring practices up until this point have been rather questionable.

Breeze has hired flight attendants in an unconventional way, requiring them to enroll in online university and live in company housing. In other words, the airline was excluding anyone with a college degree and anyone with a family, and was also putting the burden of paying tuition upfront on the newly hired employees.

On the one hand, I suppose this is a nice way to give some people an opportunity to get a job and an education. On the other hand, it seemed like the motivation was to make this a temporary job rather than a career, and to exclude people with families, a college degree, etc.

Breeze Airways’ approach to hiring pilots is controversial as well, as the airline is essentially offering regional jet pilot pay, with significantly higher requirements. People disagree about whether that’s just smart business given the current situation, or whether the airline is trying to take advantage of pilots down on their luck.

Breeze Airways now hiring part-time flight attendants

Breeze Airways is now for the first time hiring flight attendants under a contract that doesn’t require university enrollment. Instead Breeze is now hiring part-time flight attendants:

  • Breeze is looking to hire people who live in the Southeastern United States
  • Breeze will hire flight attendants under a four year contract, and they’ll be paid a cash payout at the end of the four year agreement
  • Part-time flight attendants will work a minimum of eight days per month (or 40 hours of flying time), and a maximum of 12 days per month (or 60 hours of flying time); as a point of comparison, typically (pre-pandemic) flight attendants work closer to 100 hours per month, or in some cases even more

Candidates need to be 20 years of age or older, and must have a high school diploma.

This seems like a fair concept… I think?

On the surface I think this concept from Breeze is smart and reasonable:

  • It’s interesting that Breeze is looking specifically for flight attendants based in the Southeastern United States, clearly suggesting the airline will have a focus there with its route network
  • The concept of flight attendants working part-time in the next few years seems reasonable in order to manage expectations, given the current state of the industry; I hope that’s the motive here, rather than this just being an attempt to lower costs by not providing health insurance, avoiding unionization, etc.
  • This might be a cool gig for someone who has wants to become a flight attendant, but doesn’t want to work full-time; at the same time, I imagine schedules will be rather inconsistent, and I can’t imagine this offers all that much flexibility for someone who has a life outside of their job

Bottom line

In addition to hiring flight attendants who must enroll in an online university, Breeze is now also hiring part-time flight attendants to be based in the Southeastern United States.

Given the current state of the airline industry, it seems reasonable enough for the airline to want to hire part-time employees. While a lot of flight attendants at other US airlines are basically working part-time hours due to the pandemic, as far as I know this is the first time (at least in recent memory) that we’ve seen an airline explicitly make a flight attendant position part-time.

What do you make of Breeze hiring part-time flight attendants?

(Tip of the hat to Jamie)

  1. Looks like their business model is to really screw their employees at every possible opportunity.

    Makes me wonder if that’s how they will be treating their customers.

  2. “This might be a cool gig for someone who has wants to become a flight attendant, but doesn’t want to work full-time” yo man. I dont think anyone actually *wants* to *be a FA*. they want to travel the world, and not “part time”

  3. Not uncommon in Europe to employ part-time/freelance flight attendants. I myself work as a freelance flight attendant for a central European airline while pursuing a physician career – which in situations as we give the airline all flexibility as well as enthusiastic still motivated staff.

  4. I completely agree with these methods and have considered the same for years as a way of maintaining high quality crew instead of unpolished warm bodies just biding their time until contractual seniority and all its benefits come in. As a veteran FA, I am astounded by too many poorly recruited/retained FAs. I am even aware of a former stripper with severe personality defects at A major carrier.

  5. JetBlue has part time flight attendants, and that program is seniority based and in great demand. However, you need to work full time for a year before you can apply for the part time. They need to be sure the attendants actually know the job.

  6. Tough to say. A 5 hour per day duty rig is usual. No mention of health care, pay per hour, or other benefits. I can’t imagine travel agreements with other airlines, and I’d expect exclusively turnaround flying in an effort to save money. How long employee excitement can be sustained with a setup like that I don’t know.

  7. The middle eastern airlines hire FA’s for a set period of time. Its not a ending career position and a reason you don’t find a out of shape bad attitude FA on many foreign carriers. The Union system delivers entitled foul US and Brit FA’s. My opinion

  8. Employees will have no benefits and no medical. Pilots will have little experience. Sounds like a very nice airline and Im sure you can’t wait to fly them

  9. What an abuse and exploitation of workers. How can anyone have a second job with this? It’s not the McDonalds on the street corner two blocks away and then go to the Walmart 5 blocks away, it’s going to an airport far away and then probably start working and coming home at ungodly hours. I hope this airline fails.

  10. I think Mr. Neeleman is scared to death of bankruptcy. It may damage his reputation. He’s not hiring full time flight attendants because they will not have any power within the Company. He doesn’t have to pay benefits. They can’t start a union. And the “pay scales” are toooo low – it will put more money into Neeleman’s pockets.
    The only people who would work there are the ones who are desperate for a job. And even they will quit for better opportunities when Covid is over and NORMAL airlines begin hiring.

  11. Sounds like a win win for all. Opportunity to be an FA for those who likely wouldn’t have otherwise had a shot. Low costs for the company. This should also keep the angry old FA types that we have come to expect on US legacies out of the picture.

    Serve some time, gain experience, then apply to a major with major benefits at a later date. Seems like a square deal to me.

    All the folks throwing around the word “exploitation “ neglect to consider that there’s no man with a gun forcing anyone to apply for or accept these jobs.

  12. Samuel I don’t see this as abuse or exploitation.

    Some people may be very happy with steady part time work because it fits in with other aspects of their life. Not just other jobs but education or around a partners schedule and caring responsibilities.

    What is an abuse of workers is where employers only offer limited hours part time work so they avoid the costs of benefits and so people need two or more jobs to make ends meet.

  13. If one finds the conditions of employment onerous, then don’t apply for a position.

    If, for some reason, one objects to a company’s employment or operating practices, fly with a different airline.

  14. If they are hiring part-time FAs in the South East it probably means that region is not a priority instead of the contrary.

  15. Don’t worry about the negative comments. You will see the same people looking for a cheap fair and they will fly Breeze. That’s because they are cheapskates… and don’t want to pay the higher fair on a major airline. All they can do well is make bad comments… GET A LIFE !!!

  16. Go Breeze! Well thought out start up plan and a way to contain the costs ….and a
    very unique opportunity for those who want to educated into the ways of the airline world.

  17. This is brilliant. Only concern for them is how this will work on the crew scheduling side of things, especially if many of the part-time FA’s commute from somewhere else in the Southeast besides the airport they’ll originate from.

  18. The cheapskate pilot salaries will last as long as there is a glut of pilots due to covid, and that may not last until Breeze starts up. Then Breeze will just be a way for pilots to build up hours while they look for a job, hope a GTF on a Breeze A220 doesn’t blow up like the United 777 with an inexperienced pilot at the controls.

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